Lt. Col. MacDonald

Lieutenant Colonel D.J. MacDonald
Lord Strathcona’s Horse

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. In the attack launched by a cavalry brigade he led the reserve squadron of the regiment to the attack. Though suffering acute pain from a wound in the ankle, he continued to direct operations and led his men forward until the position was finally secured. But for his outstanding courage, skill and dash the position could not have been held

(Lt. Col. MacDonald, D.S.O. Bar citation, 1 Jan 1918)

Donald John MacDonald was son of an Ontario MPP and farmer born on 25 July 1889 in Glengarry, Ontario. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in Lord Strathcona’s Horse (LdSH) on 22 September 1914 and proceeded to France on 4 May 1915. After less than a month he was wounded and returned to recover in England and was given rest leave to Canada. He rejoined the LdSH in the field in October 1915 and within a few months had been promoted to major.

Following the death of Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Docherty at Cambrai on 1 December 1917, MacDonald assumed command of the LdSH. He briefly relinquished command in April 1918 after being wounded. By June 1918, he had resumed command and would continue to lead the LdSH until after the armistice.

By the end of the war, MacDonald had received the D.S.O. and two Bars, the Military Cross, and three mentions in dispatches. He remained in the Permanent Force until retirement in 1945 at the rank of major general.

He died in London, Ontario on 7 December 1951.

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